Despite the inclusion of features like PCIe 4.0 with the latest X570 chipsets for the AM4 socket, many builders are still choosing astonishingly strong value motherboards based on the B450 chipset. X570 is great for those looking for the newest tech, but even the least expensive X570 is difficult to call a ‘budget’ board as they almost never go below $115. So for builders that want to maximize their price-performance, and are not using a 3900/3950X which need much more robust VRMs than a 3600/3700x/2700x, the B450 is still a great choice.
For this article, we are looking at the price point that makes the most sense for B450: $100 or less. Once you get into the $120-$150 price, you are probably better served by an X570 board in that price range. Luckily, the B450 has a large variety of options that are well-established and a large number of reviews that have broken down every last detail to ensure builders are making smart choices. As usual, even with budget boards, we are looking for strong VRMs for clean power and nice features to fill our needs. A pure gamer might have different needs than a productivity user or a mixed user, so be sure to think about what your use-case is in order to get the right board!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at our recommendations for the best budget ($100 or less) B450 motherboards for 2020:
Best Overall Budget B450 Motherboard
The best overall B450 budget motherboard is really about finding the best combination of performance, features, and also design. While we really focus on the performance of components, we also want to enjoy the aesthetic of our build, considering the time and money we put into it! And while we normally privilege performance over everything, our best overall B450 budget motherboard sacrifices a tiny bit of performance for a better-looking, less basic designed motherboard. Don’t fear, we will also give our best performance pick right below! But for best overall b450 budget motherboard, we recommend the Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite.
The Aorus Elite is a board that looks great, has strong enough VRMs for even a decent overclock on the 2600/2700X/3600, while offering strong features like dual M.2, built-in I/O back panel, and heatsinks on the M.2 slots and VRM’s. It is missing some features we would have liked to see, like USB-C and higher RAM speeds, but the overall design and generally strong features/performance give the impression of a much more expensive board. At $100 exactly, this isn’t the cheapest board, but it definitely is a great value board that will run six core or eight core CPUs without any problems. So if you want a combo board that does a bit of everything and does it all well, the B450 Aorus Elite is a great choice.
Runner up: Best Overall Budget B450 Motherboard
For anyone familiar with the B450 chipset, there is one motherboard that is recommended more than any other, making it almost a meme on building communities with how popular it is. Its mega-strong VRMs, feature-set, and MAX designation (indicating Ryzen 3000 ready) have made it the go-to option for builders using CPUs ranging from the Ryzen 1600 to the Ryzen 3700X, thanks to its upgradeability and overall value. The only reason we aren’t recommending it as the single best budget board is that it is slightly more expensive than our $100 limit. We are of course talking about the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX.
It is difficult to describe just how strong this board is and almost impossible to overestimate it. For 90% of builders, so basically anyone outside of those looking for overclocking records or 3950X users, the B450 Tomahawk MAX will satisfy your power needs. For most gamers, using two sticks of RAM and one M.2, an Ethernet connection and one GPU, the Tomahawk MAX will not hold you back in the slightest while gaming. And while our budget motherboards are very good for the price, the Tomahawk MAX is truly a step above. So if you are able to save an extra ~$15 or wait for a sale, the Tomahawk MAX is easily the best overall B450 stretch-budget motherboard and worth the wait if you can swing an extra $15.
Best Performance Budget B450 Motherboard
Now, we mentioned above that our first recommendation is really a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ motherboard, that doesn’t everything well but isn’t necessarily the single best performer, or best features. But some builders are not at all bothered by the design of the motherboard, or already know that they are looking to overclock as much as possible (even with a budget PC), so they want the most performance available. For those gamers, we recommend the MSI B450 A-PRO MAX.
Similar to the Tomahawk MAX, the A-PRO MAX has strong VRMs and the same MAX designation, and is just slightly less feature complete which explains its lower price. But in terms of performance, the A-PRO MAX is tough to beat under $100. MSI made arguably the best B450 lineup, and the A-PRO MAX fits right into that line. The features are not necessarily insanely good, but there is still an M.2 slot, light heatsinks, and no USB-C, but if you are looking for pure performance at $100, the MSI B450 A-PRO MAX is the motherboard for you.
Best Budget mATX B450 Motherboard
One of the best parts of the B450 chipsets, when compared to the X570, is the greater number of choices for mATX builders. As the happy medium in terms of sizing, mATX would seem to be a popular choice. But recently, the mATX market has shrunk, and motherboard manufacturers reduced the availability of choices accordingly. But with the B450, we have strong choices. And while the B450M Gigabyte AORUS and B450M ASUS TUF PLUS GAMING are both solid boards if you have a preference for ASUS/Gigabyte, our recommendation for best B450 budget mATX motherboard is the ASRock B450M Pro4. Attention! The board also comes in a regular ATX format, so when buying be sure to look for the ‘M’ after the B450 to get the right size!
The B450M Pro4 is a well-know, well-reviewed budget board that offers a strong 9-phase VRM set-up, some great features like USB-C on the back panel, support up to 3200MHz DDR4 RAM, and two M.2 slots (although one uses SATA channels). All of that plus good BIOS support from ASRock (with Ryzen 3000 support) means that this a pretty nice board, budget or otherwise. But the cherry on top is the stellar value. While comparable boards from other manufacturers are sold for between $85-$90, the Pro4 retails for $75, and is often on sale for less. So while it has a no-frills design, it invests in the core pieces that are most important while avoiding gimmicks that end up costing more for limited return. If you are building an mATX rig and are looking for a budget B450, look no further than the ASRock B450M Pro4.
Best Budget ITX B450 Motherboard
While SFF, or small form factor, building is becoming more and more popular, ITX board still remain rather limited, especially when compared to the ATX standard size. On the other hand, ITX boards tend to be very strong, offering great performance and good features (for the size) while keeping reasonable prices. Unfortunately, none fit within the strict budget of $100 without being on sale, but SFF builders are used to paying a bit more for their components, so we hope they understand when we recommend the Gigabyte B450I AORUS PRO WIFI.
This motherboard truly does everything well, from space saving to performance to features. The VRMs are strong enough to support an overclocked 2700X easily, while the M.2 slot and AC Wifi/Bluetooth 5.0, and Intel LAN provide features that many similar boards do not offer. The design is nice, with attractive heatsinks and some nice RGB touches, and a subtle orange trim that is elegant in its implementation. At $120, we are slightly above our budget $100 price, but the strength of the board and the typical price premium for SFF building mean that this motherboard is still a great budget value option that is perfect for any ITX B450 builder.
Even though the B450 is not the latest generation chipset, the glory of the AM4 socket is that many B450 boards are still more than capable of powering even the latest generation Zen2 processors. And for those looking to build on a tight budget, the savings compared to X570 are more than attractive, especially given the wealth of strong options available right around the $100 price point.
Remember to think about what is most important to you (performance, features, design, etc.) to ensure you pick the board best for you. But once you’ve chosen if you’re looking for the absolute best value, or if you are planning on building an mATX or ITX sized rig, these recommendations will help you ensure you get the best budget B450 motherboard available.